Contributed by RL Its hot and looks like it is going to get hotter. It's good for the garden as long as there is enough water to go around. With the heat the tomato plants ( are producing well along with the squash. If you have neighbors that are raising zucchini it is recommended to keep your car doors locked or you may have a few extra squash yourself. Honestly the gardens around Bear Lake are producing and harvest is upon us. As I was looking at my tomato plants the other day I started thinking of my old neighbor down the road from our house. You see Deverl loved tomatoes, fresh, cooked, steamed, bottled, just about anyway you can think of ( he loved them! Now I like my tomatoes as well, but not as much as Deverl who looked at them like my grandchildren look at the candy in their grandmothers candy drawer. Even then some of those wrappers don't make it off the candy before it is gulped down. (I hope they make those wrappers from all natural bio-degradable material.) In the garden where we grow squash as well, the vines can spread to their hearts content, a wonderful product that is great to watch grow. It kind of takes over the garden when given half a chance. Squash taste great and can go with any meal or be the main part of a meal itself. We like to raise spaghetti squash ourselves. But any type of squash that grows well in your area will provide you with a great tasting meal. In our home we like to take the spaghetti squash and add those fresh tomatoes that we have grown (first we cook the squash) we cut the tomatoes into chunks and mix into the spaghetti squash, sprinkle some freeze dried cheese (lots of different choices there), then add a little salt and pepper per taste. A variation on this we use at times, is to cook the spaghetti squash, fork it on to a plate and add our tomato sauce and make it into spaghetti. You can make your own sauce from the tomato powder, that Rainy Day Foods sells, then adding your own special flavors to liven up that spaghetti sauce then you can even add some meat if you like. A few years ago when I first started raising tomatoes here in the Bear Lake Valley ( we started using a small green house. We had some of our grandchildren visit, which we always love to have, because they bring that special light into our lives and home that makes us feel full of life and zest just as when we were young. So our granddaughter Norah was out admiring the garden and noticed the tomatoes. Which by the way, her Dad grows at their home. She saw how they were now ripe and ready to be eaten; so she did! Now since these were cherry tomatoes and she loved the fresh taste she did not stop eating until she had all of them eaten. Happily she came and told her grandmother about the ripe tomatoes and how good they were. If it brings joy to the children, ( such as those things in our garden, then what better joy can we have from that little piece of land where we are growing our food in the back yard! Now I am left with the problem of preserving the extra that we can not get eaten before it goes bad from the garden. We have learned about bottling and freezing which work well but sometimes there is not the room in the old freezer and finding bottles some times becomes a chore. The dehydrator works well and once dried we can put the dried garden produce into the pantry for later use. But now they have come out with a home “Freeze Dryer” that preserves your food and taste just like you picked it out of the garden when re-hydrated plus it keeps all the natural vitamins and minerals, a win-win. Utilizing our gardens to help with our home storage needs helps us remember the work that goes into producing food. We should always be thankful for those who have and are making our food possible the farmers and ranchers of America. Learning and gaining knowledge is great! In fact I see that there is going to be a star show this coming weekend August 11-13. Naaman, our in house star gazer, will be out with his telescope to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower. ( The meteor shower, at its peak, should show us around 60 meteors per hour at its height. Find a dark corner in the back yard with your lawn chair and family then sit back have some of that summer squash and enjoy the show. 'Til next time RL     Are you wondering how you can ripen your green tomatoes? Check out this article from